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Is there a basis for human rights in Islam? Beginning with an exploration of what rights are and how the human rights discourse developed, Abdullah Saeed explores the resources that exist within Islamic tradition that are compatible with international human rights law and that can be garnered to promote and protect human rights in Muslim-majority states. A number of rights are given specific focus, including the rights of women and children, freedom of expression and religion and jihad and the laws of war. He concludes that there is a need for Muslims to rethink problematic areas of Islamic thought that are difficult to reconcile with contemporary conceptions of human rights.
Those who argue for an Islamic conception of human rights agree that it is essential for a connection to be made between international human rights law and Islamic values if human rights are to gain widespread acceptance among Muslims. This chapter outlines the most important Islamic textual sources of authority and legal tools that can be used in this endeavour.
The chapter gives an overview of the topic and issues treated in the book. Three main arguments are presented. First, the dynamics of the refugee events of 2015 reflect the degree of globalization and transnationalization of social relations. In Syria as well as in Europe the global is becoming local and the local is becoming global. Transnational social relations are becoming more and more important. Second, since the 1990s a European refugee regime has been being developed, but its (nice) provisions for refugee protection almost collapsed in face of the organized non-responsibility of EU member states. Third, the networks of refugee- and asylum-oriented organizations and elements of a related transnational social movement compensated the ‘organized non-responsibility’ of national governments.
Edited by Shirley V. Scott and Charlotte Ku
Lessons for the EU
Francis Cheneval and Mónica Ferrín
This chapter compares the institutional setting and integration processes in Switzerland and the European Union (EU). It shows that EU integration is trying to achieve more political integration and the accommodation of a much higher degree of diversity in much less time than has ever been the case in Switzerland. Direct democracy has acted as a federator in the Swiss context. There has been a slow and iterative process of adaptation of structurally similar institutions of direct democracy at all levels (communal, cantonal, federal) roughly between 1830 and 1891. The EU is only incipiently in a process of introducing direct democracy. Mobility of residence, the one element on which the EU has based the construction of EU citizenship and identity, has not been actively facilitated and is implicitly discouraged in Switzerland, formal freedom of movement notwithstanding.